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Old April 27 2011, 12:50 AM   #391
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


50. GoodFellas (A)
51. Spartacus (A+)
52. The Deer Hunter (B+)

The film that made Michael Cimino the visionary auteur of a new generation, right before the film that bankrupted a major studio and severely restricted directorial control over all movies.

I had a hard time assigning a grade to this one: B+ or A- would both fit. The characters are all well-drawn and well-acted, and there are a lot of good scenes (which, particularly the nature ones, are quite well-photographed). But it would have been pretty easy to edit this movie down from 3 hours without losing anything; any number of scenes dwell on trivialities in a way that seems like real life, but this isn't real life, it's a movie. It also feels to me like Cimino's extreme naturalism in filming is at odds with a story that becomes progressively more allegorical and less character-based the longer it goes on. The Vietnam scenes are almost entirely about allegories (the recurrences of Russian Roulette, for instance, which could at first have just been an isolated case of sadistic POW-torture, but then there are whole underground rings dedicated to it, so it's obviously not intended as that), and Christopher Walken's character, in particular, becomes way less believable as a person than as an allegory for America. Likewise, you've got the French dude who's obviously representing France itself, and Vietnam isn't really Vietnam so much as an allegory for all war (becoming literally an orange hellscape in the final visit).

All the same, I admired quite a lot about the movie, and could have given it an A- for its strengths, notwithstanding the flaws. In particular, I'd single out the aforementioned Christopher Walken: Walken has become culturally ubiquitous, but this is one of the few major roles of his I've seen where it felt like he was doing a real performance rather than a routine (Catch Me If You Can being the other major example). But those roles show that he's a great actor, and, as enjoyable as his persona is, it'd be nice to see him stretch himself more.

53. Reservoir Dogs (A)

I've been working backward through Tarantino's catalogue since I saw Inglourious Basterds in 2009 (though I skipped over Jackie Brown, though I get the sense a lot of people do that). You can tell this was a minimally-budgeted effort, but it never feels like it's missing anything, which is the sign of a good hand. Tarantino rolls out a lot of what would become his standard narrative devices for the first time, and they all function quite effectively. I actually thought there was a much stronger sense of character identification than I had while watching Pulp Fiction - the final moments with Harvey Keitel and Tim Roth have believable dramatic weight to them.
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Old April 27 2011, 10:11 AM   #392
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Updates (in Bold):

The Adjustment Bureau (8)
Arashi no Yoru ni (One Stormy Night) (7)
Armored Trooper Votoms: Finder (8)
Black Swan (9)
Broken Blade 3: The Mark of the Assassin's Dagger (9)
Broken Blade 4: The Land of Disaster (9)
Drive Angry (7)
Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance (9)
Godkiller (6)
I Am Number Four (8)
Infernal Affairs (7)
Kamui (4)
The Garden of Sinners Movie 8: Epilogue (9)
Loups=Garous (8)
The Mechanic (2011) (9)
Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Awakeening of the Trailblazer (8)
Munto: The Movie (6)
Musashi Miyamoto (6)
Outlander (8)
Source Code (9)
Time of Eve (10)
Unknown (7)
Your Highness (3)
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Old April 27 2011, 01:09 PM   #393
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

leegrace wrote: View Post
Twilight Saga.. 9/10
Good movie..
...
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Old April 27 2011, 04:32 PM   #394
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

leegrace wrote: View Post
Twilight Saga.. 9/10
Good movie..
A glorious masterpiece of filmmaking. I literally explode in my pants with joy every time I watch it with my eyes practically jammed into the screen.

Horror Hospital: 3/5
Rabid: 4/5.
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Old April 27 2011, 05:21 PM   #395
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Harvey wrote: View Post
Lowdarzz wrote: View Post
Forbidden World (1982)

One of Roger Corman's various rip-offs of Alien, the film is actually pretty fun. While the acting was virtually non-existent, the special effects and set design more than made up for it.That and the shower scene between the two female leads. The make-up effects were done by John Carl Buechler of Friday the 13th part 7 fame and still hold up well. The few space ship effects however seemed to have been taken from Battle Beyond the Stars, another Corman classic that came out a few years earlier.
I picked this up on Blu-Ray a few weeks ago for dirt cheap. I'm glad you enjoyed it--I've thought about putting it in a few times, but haven't had the guts (or the proper quantity of alcohol). The trailer definitely made it look better than Corman's Star Crash, but, then again, his trailers were never exactly honest representations of the movies they were advertising.
I can't say that everybody will like the film, it's more of a so bad its good kind of thing. However if you've seen some of Corman's other films then you know what you're getting into.Some are good and others are crap. I appreciate the film for trying to be a scary alien on the loose type of story that doesn't quite succeed at all levels.
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Old April 28 2011, 01:49 PM   #396
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Random Hearts: 3/5.
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Old April 28 2011, 06:03 PM   #397
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


Source Code - theater
Rio - free screenin'
The Fighter - DVD rental
Invictus - Cinemax
Scream 4 - theater

Flippin' channels yesterday, found Invictus about ten minutes into the movie. Had only seen the trailers before, don't know anything about rugby & very little about South African politics.

After watchin' it, I still don't know anything about rugby & very little about South African politics.

Seems to be that it was tryin' to be both a feel good sports movie and a historical look at a leader, and kind of fails at both.

On the plus side, at least it Morgan Freeman didn't narrate it...

Went out to the theater last night for Scream 4. I missed the first one in theaters, on purpose, but caught the second & third on the big screen. Even owned the trilogy on DVD for awhile.

I didn't care for the fourth one that much. When the best bit of your movie is in the first ten minutes (the Kristen Bell/Anna Paquin cameo), ya should know your movie has problems.

Also, the endin' took fuckin' forever...and it still didn't end after that.

May be goin' to a midnight screenin' of Fast Five tonight...

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
53. Reservoir Dogs (A)
My favorite Tarantino movie!

A couple of years ago, I got to meet Tim Roth when he was signin' autographs at a preview screenin' of The Incredible Hulk and got him to write a Reservoir Dogs quote on my miniposter.
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Old April 28 2011, 06:40 PM   #398
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Inception - Best sci-fi movie in decades. Incredible special effects that, even in the age of CGI, seem to defy the laws of physics. Watch it more than once and you may change your idea of what actually happened at the end. Definitely sparks conversation afterward.

The King's Speech - Best of the best. Shows how a character/dialogue driven film without any sex, violence, car chases, explosions, and almost no bad language (and the language is not gratuitous, it actually serves a purpose) can still be captivating and wonderful.

Winter's Bone - Disturbing but poignant film that makes one think "there but for the grace of God go I." Paints a very alien landscape of drugs and family dysfunction in America.
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Old April 28 2011, 11:06 PM   #399
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


50. GoodFellas (A)
51. Spartacus (A+)
52. The Deer Hunter (B+)
53. Reservoir Dogs (A)
54. A Clockwork Orange (A)

Another Blu-Ray I picked up as part of a really good three-pack (with Dog Day Afternoon and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest).

As opposed to the earlier-reviewed Spartacus, Kubrick's clearly working his own distinct style here. Sterility is the order of the day (weirdly paired with a lot of oversexed background decor). Quite a good movie, with Kubrick's expectedly cynical twist on the morality tale: spending a bunch of time victimizing Alex to make the audience feel sympathy for him, only to remind us at the end that he doesn't actually deserve it. Malcolm McDowell is excellent in the title role, which is really his only significant one before he started playing the villain in every Hollywood B-movie (in fact, I suspect he's dropped below B-movie at this point). A largely wasted talent. Patrick Magee as the writer is really the only flaw; his performance goes insanely over the top in the final quarter.
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Old April 29 2011, 04:27 AM   #400
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

"Little Shop of Horrors" (1986) - Not all of the songs and jokes work, but when they do, they work big time. Highlights were Steve Martin's psycho biker dentist character, Bill Murray's too short but hilarious-for-every-minute-it's-on screen dental patient who loves pain, and the amazing puppetry on the monster plant.

The "Somewhere Green" ballad was surprisingly gorgeous and moving in the midst of such a wacky movie, and the love story was truly heartwarming. As ridiculous as its lyrics were, I think Martin's song about how he became a dentist because he loves to inflict pain on people should have won an Oscar for best song.

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Old April 29 2011, 07:19 AM   #401
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I have seen Following movies in 2011

Your Highness
Arthur
Rio
Rango
Sucker Punch
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Old April 29 2011, 09:27 AM   #402
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


Source Code - theater
Rio - free screenin'
The Fighter - DVD rental
Invictus - Cinemax
Scream 4 - theater
Fast Five - midnight screenin'

When I went to see Scream 4 (which isn't at the local theater anymore, thanks to Prom - WTF?!?), I found out about the midnight screenin' for Fast Five. Turns out there will be a midnight screenin' of each big release this summer.

Cool.

Anyway, the movie was actually pretty good. As with Fast & Furious, characters from other parts of the franchise turn up in Rio to help Dom & Brian. And the Rock is bad ass as the federal agent sent to get 'em after DEA agents get murdered.

Yes, its still set before Tokyo Drift, which, to me, is the worst of the franchise. And Han's fate is still postponed in the end...go figure.

And if ya stick around a bit into the credits, there's a bonus set up scene for the next movie, which I think should be called Furiousix!
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Old April 29 2011, 01:30 PM   #403
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I'm not into the "Fast" movies, but I think that's a fantastic title for a sixth film.

Ride Lonesome: 4/5
-The movie was great, and the little interview with Scorsese in the special features was cool, too.
It's Kind of a Funny Story: 2.5/5
-Shocking how disappointing I found this. It probably would have done better with a lead who wasn't so bland or annoying and a story that I hadn't seen in better movies. Zach Galifianakis was great though. He could have easily carried a movie like this on his own.
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Old April 29 2011, 04:35 PM   #404
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

barnaclelapse wrote: View Post
I'm not into the "Fast" movies, but I think that's a fantastic title for a sixth film.
Thanks! Glad I'm not the only one!

Maybe I should copyright it or something, make the studio offer me a bunch of money to make their movie...
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Old April 29 2011, 07:46 PM   #405
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

59. Team America: World Police (B-)
60. Bullets or Ballots (A-)


Team America: World Police: I'm of two minds about this movie, which I've seen more times than I would have ever expected based on the premise of a marionette movie from the creators of South Park. On one hand, this movie can be profoundly stupid. It seems that it takes every joke, and just runs with it...usually right into the ground (think of the Film Actor's Guild joke, a bit of dumb but effective humor that is used again and again). On the other hand, many of those jokes (and all of the musical numbers) are absolutely hilarious. The puppet sex scene is brilliant (though, like most jokes in the movie, it is allowed to go on for too long).

Bullets or Ballots: This gangster film seems to get lost amidst all the other gangster films produced in the 1930s, which is a shame, because I definitely enjoyed it a great deal more than the more well-known The Public Enemy. Humphrey Bogart plays a great villain (it's hard not to wonder how he ever became a romantic lead after parts like this), and Edward G. Robinson is equally good as the lead. He's also well-cast, because when he supposedly defects to the mob after being fired from the police force, you believe it -- it's pretty easy seeing the star of Little Caesar as a gangster. When the twist finally comes down the line that he's been playing the gangsters all along, it's a genuine surprise, too.

Unlike many other pictures I've seen from the 30s, the scenes never drag, either. If I had any complaint, it would be that the usual direct address to the audience in the beginning using title cards (telling the audience that the film isn't meant to glorify the gangster -- well, duh!) go on to parodic excess. And if I were to complain again, it would be that the title has almost nothing to do with the movie, which never comes down to the presented choice.
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